Student looks at America with fresh eyes


BUCKHANNON — While in the United States for six weeks, The Upshur Cooperative Parish’s latest German exchange student hopes to become more fluent in English and to make an impact through service.

Meet Anna-Lena Lump, a 17-year-old student from Burkhardsfelden near Frankfurt, Germany. She just wrapped up her 11th year of school and will spend her summer break in a new country — something she is excited to be doing.

“In the 11th grade, we get four weeks extra of summer vacation because the school wants us to do either an internship for six weeks or study abroad for six weeks,” she said. “I thought about what I could do for six weeks because I wanted to study abroad.”

Through Lisa-Maria Reuter, a friend of Anna’s sister who had previously participated in the exchange, Lump became acquainted with the Upshur Cooperative Parish’s Exchange program and plans began to take shape.

“I met up with her and she told me all about what she did here and I found a really great way to also help this community here and not just stay somewhere and have a fun time, but also work and help others,” Lump said.

Anna said she loves the USA because so many things in youth culture come from America.

“I didn’t just want to go here because I love it; I also wanted to do something,” she said. “I just said I really want to get to know the people, the culture and how they live. I’m really interested in just getting to know this community, how everything works and how you all live together here.”

During her visit, Lump will be staying with Dr. Sara and Steve Stankus, the Rise and Shawn Hanifan family and Brooke and Andrew Scott, who will all take her to experience the sights of West Virginia and beyond. Brooke Scott helped recruit host families and coordinate Lump’s visit.

Lump will join Chapel Hill UMC’s mission trip to Panama City, Florida for clean-up and repairs from last year’s hurricane.

She has already spent time volunteering at the Upshur Parish House, Upshur County Board of Education and helping decorate for Chapel Hill UMC’s Vacation Bible School.